My degree helped me learn to be more organised and proactive
I loved design and technology, maths and physics at school and have always had a fascination with aeroplanes, helicopters and all things space-related. I'm also a problem-solver, so that led me on to aerospace engineering. I visited Sheffield and instantly loved the city - nowhere else got much of a look in!
My favourite modules were always materials science, though I enjoyed the maths ones as well. My final-year dissertation was materials-based, looking at 3D Additive Layer Manufacturing of Chocolate! I enjoyed any of the modelling that I was able to do with materials science and mechanical engineering modules, as it gave me a far better understanding of what I was working on.
I decided in my final year of University that following a 'traditional' engineering career wasn't for me, and discovered that I enjoyed teaching and working in schools. After I left university I started training as a maths teacher in Sheffield and I went on to work in Rotherham, teaching secondary and A-level mathematics.
I then realised that I wanted to work with numbers and data a little more closely, and solve problems myself, rather than teaching students how to do it, so I looked into careers involving data. 'Big Data' was on-trend at the time, so there were a number of jobs that piqued my interest. I decided that Data Assurance was best suited for me, given my skills developed through both university and teaching.
I now work in Data Analytics and Assurance at PwC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers). I have been here for a year and a half, and am currently an Associate, soon to be made Senior Associate.
My job comes in two parts; the first is working to support auditors when they complete external audits of our clients.
This involves analysing financial information, providing auditors with comfort that the financial data a company has provided is complete and accurate, and hasn't been doctored in any way. It also can help them detect issues such as fraud or money laundering.
The second aspect is where I get to be more creative, and effectively involves anything to do with data.
This can involve providing assurance that a company is appropriately set up for when the new Data Protection Regulations come in to effect so that they are appropriately looking after consumers' data, designing testing and monitoring plans so that they can ensure they are getting the absolute maximum value out of their data, or designing dashboards and other insight tools which can enable clients to investigate data, dig into it more deeply and making better informed decisions about pricing models, sales, marketing, and so on.
I'm aiming to develop my interests in Machine Learning and other upcoming trends, and focus my work on data visualisation and analytics. I am particularly interested in adding value to data and companies, and teaching them how to interpret their data most effectively.
Data Anlytics and Assurance Associate, PwC
I enjoy my job; I am responsible for a large piece of work around data quality testing at the moment and have been able to learn a large number of skills in a very short space of time.
My degree helped me learn to be more organised and proactive, which helps me get involved with more jobs and take on more responsibilities than I may otherwise have done. I was part of the first cohort of students who took part in the Global Engineering Challenge and Engineering, You're Hired weeks, both of which gave me experience of working interdisciplinary teams.
My final-year project was especially useful; it involved a lot of research and testing over a long period that culminated in a comparatively short report and presentation, which is very similar to the work I do at PwC; interviews with clients, testing of data and subsequent research, and a final report that is scrutinised by a lot of stakeholders, so it was good practice to do at university.
For my career, I'm aiming to develop my interests in Machine Learning and other upcoming trends, and focus my work on data visualisation and analytics. I am particularly interested in adding value to data and companies, and teaching them how to interpret their data most effectively. From a personal point of view, I'm hoping to keep travelling and experiencing new cultures around the world.
I love exploring new places and finding about their interests, history and food. I'm getting married this summer so I'm also looking forward to married life and starting this next chapter in my life. I also have quite a few pets (three cats and a dog) and I'm planning on expanding my menagerie over the years!
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